Close Up

17 October 2019: The Hellstrom Chronicle


The Hellstrom Chronicle
Walon Green, 1972, 90min
Introduced by Dr Amy Cutler

“Shocking. Beautiful. Brilliant. Sensual. Deadly ... and in the end, only they will survive.” 

"The "they" in The Hellstrom Chronicle’s movie poster tagline aren’t invaders from outer space, but the bugs that crawl about us everyday. Equal measures monster movie, hoax, and nature documentary, The Hellstrom Chronicle takes us through the infernal microcosmos of the insect world, with gorgeous 70s-hued macrophotography and a dramatic, pre-ASMR sound design. Dr Nils Hellstrom, both entomologist and harbinger of human doom, wanders through this world with us as he glorifies the straightforward insect and condemns the American Dream. Written with gothic delight by The Omen screenwriter David Seltzer, The Hellstrom Chronicle is infested with a mad genius that led to it winning an Oscar for Best Documentary in 1972." – Ben Driscoll

Dr Amy Cutler is an artist, cultural geographer, curator, writer, and film-maker who works with ideas of geography and nonhuman others. In her career in the GeoHumanities she has completed a PhD, a post-doc, and an ECR fellowship, and during this time she has exhibited her work or run live events with organisations including the BBC, Somerset House, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sheffield Institute of Arts, the Wellcome Trust, the Horniman Museum, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Late Junction, Tate Modern, the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, the Horse Hospital, the Natural History Museum, and Kew Museum of Economic Botany. Her geography training impacts her work as an artist, performer, and curator, and she works frequently on the production of immersive and live cinema and exhibition events provoking and changing the public conversation around ideas of space, geography, and nature-cultures. She currently lectures in the Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Part of Ben Driscoll's Live Cultures programme